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Changes to the 457 visa program

The Federal Government this afternoon announced it plans to scrap the 457-visa program and replace it with a new TSS (Temporary Skill Shortage) visa.

RCSA has prepared the following key point summary of the announcement based on the information available.

  • The new TSS visa will replace the 457 visa. Key characteristics include:

  • Increased level of English competency required of applicants

  • A mandatory and increased level of labour market testing must be demonstrated to confirm that Australian workers are unable to fill the position

  • Tougher skills matching to confirm visa applicant is (1) best fit and (2) required for the role

  • Increased testing of experience and skills requiring minimum 2 years’ work experience.

  • Labour Agreements will provide a controlled vehicle for visa sponsors as commitments such as labour market testing, guarantees and assessments are made in advance through the application process. Members should consider the suitability of an LA for their business, as they work with visa holders to fill roles.

  • RCSA believes there may be an increase in applications for Labour Agreements post this announcement.

  • Visa holders will be required to be on a TSS visa for a period of 3 years in order to transition to PR, an increase from the current 2 years required on a 457 visa before moving to PR.

  • ENS (PR) must now have 3 years’ work experience and the maximum eligible age has been reduced from 50 to 45 years.

  • RCSA understands that 200 occupations will be removed from the Skilled Occupations List. Further details will be available when the revised list is released on 19th April 2017.

  • The basis for this announcement is a toughening by the Government of visa’s for skilled workers. This moves away from ‘tinkering’ with 457 visa’s, which has been the case for some time, to a much-discussed position that better matches the skills required. Layered over this is the continuing issue of new graduates and workers unable to find places.

  • Click here for a summary of the proposed changes that has been released by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

  • Based on the information we have available we do not believe recruitment consultants will be removed from the Occupations list.

  • Some Members may also be delighted to know that procurement officers are likely to be removed.

RCSA will continue to update members as further information about these changes becomes available.

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